Charming cobbled streets, the best pubs in Europe and a welcoming, relaxed way of life … welcome to Dublin! Jump right into the city where beer is the way of life. This small capital with a huge heart makes everyone feel right at home. Still, Dublin is not all hedonistic, as it doesn’t forget about its history and national treasures. Be it the National Museum of Ireland, the Trinity College or Dublin Castle, a visit to Dublin is as much recreational as it is educational. Furthermore, Dublin is an excellent destination for a city break for those who love to admire awe-inspiring sacral architecture – sights like Christ Church Cathedral and St Patrick’s Cathedral are among the finest in this part of Europe. And what better way to enhance your city break than by visiting the state-of-the-art restaurants, of which Dublin offers no shortage? Whatever you choose, we’re sure that your Dublin city break will leave you with memories for years to come!
Top 10 Things to See and Do in Dublin
Book of Kells Early Access Tour
With the early access, you can skip the crowds which begin to appear after the library opens. Without any other people except your group, you will be able to scan and analyse the Book of Kells at your own pace. The tour also includes a tour of the Dublin Castle, along with the Trinity College’s library.
Skip the Line Guinness Storehouse Tour
No need to wait in long lines to get a good look at the history and means of productions of the most famous beer in Ireland – Guinness. Take a look at the enormous, seven-floor tall recreation of a Guinness glass. After the tour, you will be provided with a complimentary pint of Guinness for free.
Dublin’s Original Temple Bar Pub Crawl
This pub crawl will take you along five different Dublin pubs with a guide who will help you find your way around the most-visited places in the city. Each stop includes a set of free drinks, allowing you to save your money while at it. The pub crawl also allows you VIP entry to one of Temple Bar's nightclubs.
Cliffs of Moher Tour
This tour will take a whole day out of your schedule, so prepare to save some time. The tour starts in the city of Dublin and will take you along the Cliffs of Moher and Galway City, where you will be able to marvel at the Irish countryside of the Wild Atlantic Way, which is a coastal road difficult to navigate by yourself.
Northern Ireland Highlights Day Trip
A day trip which will take you along the most famous sights of Northern Ireland, starting from the city of Dublin. A knowledgeable guide will accompany you and show you the quickest routes between the sights, which include Giant’s Causeway and Belfast, as well as the Peace Wall and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.
Blarney Castle Day Trip from Dublin
With a guaranteed admission at Blarney Castle, Cahir Castle and the Rock of Cashel, this trip provides a comfortable transit from Dublin in an air-conditioned coach. You will be able to learn on the history of the castles from a well-accustomed guide as you travel across the beautiful countryside of Ireland.
Kilkenny City, Wicklow Mountains, and Glendalough Day Trip
This trip will provide you with a means to escape the crowded city of Dublin for a whole day with included transportation. You will be taken to the city of Kilkenny, Glendalough, and the Wicklow Mountains with guide commentary at each stop to teach you some of the history of these places.
Dublin Traditional Irish Music Pub Crawl
With private seating guaranteed at some of Dublin's most crowded pubs, this pub crawl allows you to explore the nightlife of the city of Dublin. A musician guide will take you to some of the best places to hear traditional Irish music, and you can even opt-in for a three-course dinner at Flanagan's before the tour.
Dublin Historical Walking Tour
If you would rather have someone who knows what they are doing tell you the history of the city rather than having to discover it yourself, this walking tour is a perfect opportunity to gain some insight on the information regarding Dublin under the supervision of a Trinity College history graduate guide.
City Sightseeing Dublin Hop-on-Hop-off Tour
Visit the attractions and monuments of Dublin at your own pace with this hop-on-hop-off tour. With a large number of separate buses and a wide variety of stops, this tour allows you to quickly travel between spots. An upper deck provides an unobstructed view of the surroundings, and audio commentary is provided for free.
Other Things to See and Do
Sandeman’s free walking tour
If you want to save some money while learning the history of the city, try the Sandeman’s Dublin Tour, which starts at Dame Street every day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The tour will take you on a three-hour-long trip along the attractions of the city with well-informed and agreeable guides to show you on your way.
Why would a pay-to-rent method of transportations be included in this list of free attractions? The trick is, the first thirty minutes of the rent is free, so if you make sure to swap between bikes every half an hour, you can have a pleasant afternoon, riding along the parks and cycling routes of the city for free.
While nothing beats a tour guided by an informed and professional guide, these are often expensive and have crowds of tourists swarming to them. Instead, put on your headphones and play these podcasts which will guide you on your way along the streets of Dublin and its historical highlights.
This weird museum is formally called the Museum of Natural History, but everyone calls it a "dead zoo" due to its appearance. You will be taken back to a world of Victorian times with polished wood, brass fittings, and glass cases. Not only is it the oldest public museum in Ireland, but it is also free every day.
The Grand Canal
Take a hike down the Grand Canal for a tranquil and peaceful evening, as you stroll down the dirt road with trees and statues around you. Starting at the Portobello Road and heading towards Grand Canal Quay, the road is a home to many trendy restaurants and small-time theatres where you can get some entertainment for free.
Decorative Arts and History branch of the National Museum
Located in the Collins Barracks building, which dates back to the early 18th century, this branch of the National Museum showcases some of the more aesthetically pleasing pieces. With a wide collection of historic ornaments, local craftwork, and old-fashioned handmade crafts, this is a place sure worth visiting.
With a set of old-fashioned red-brick Georgian mansions lining its sides, the Henrietta Street is a host to the housings of the wealthiest families of 1700s Ireland. With gorgeous and lush greenery along it, it is a perfect place for an afternoon stroll, allowing you to marvel at the most iconic architecture of Ireland.
Not only is this museum free to enter any time of the year, but it also hosts one of the most interesting interactive exhibitions in the country. The building consists of two floors, both packed with explaining the workings of science and nature, as well as its application to everyday life, so make sure not to skip it.
Irish Museum of Modern Art
If you are an art enthusiast, make some time in your schedule to visit the Irish Museum of Modern Art, where you can notice a large collection of contemporary paintings and installations. The building itself is a former hospital, making it even more interesting to visit, and is surrounded with marvellous gardens.
Visit the parks
The city of Dublin is filled with many picturesque city parks where you can stretch out and take a walk. Saint Stephen’s Green is probably the most popular one and is a great spot to watch the daily life of the locals. The Merrion Square provides a more tranquil experience, where you can sit down and unwind after a day of sightseeing.
Not only modern art has dedicated art galleries to it, so if you are into more traditional methods of expression, make sure to visit the National Gallery. The gallery has a vast collection which stretches across seven centuries and includes a famous piece by Caravaggio as well as portraits of Ireland’s famous figures.
The Dublin City Gallery
Yet another art gallery dedicated to modern and contemporary art exclusively, but worth visiting nonetheless. The gallery not only hosts a wide collection of installations, performances and paintings from local and foreign artists but is also home to a reconstructed studio of the painter Francis Bacon.
If you run out of places to walk in the evenings in Dublin, which is rather unlikely, you can always stroll across the South Wall, which will take you into Dublin Bay. The walk is approximately one kilometre long and ends near the Poolbeg Lighthouse, which is also a beautiful monument worth seeing.
National Botanic Gardens
Being a perfect place for nature enthusiasts and for anyone who likes to spend time surrounded by lush greenery, the National Botanic Gardens host a number of historical greenhouses in every season. The park around the gardens creates a unique, colourful atmosphere, and the greenhouses possess some exotic plants.
Offering an informative tour on the Celtic heritage of Ireland, as well as its medieval legacy, the National Museum is the place to visit if you want to learn some history. With such famous artifacts as Tara Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice, the National Museum showcases some of the most treasured items from the past.
North Bull Island
Located near the city centre lies one of the most important nature conservation areas of Ireland. You are sure to have a good time here and make sure to bring your kids and friends to watch the birds, as there are more than a hundred and eighty different species flying around the premises of the island.
The best-known district of Dublin is known mostly for its famous pubs and vibrant nightlife, but there are also quite a number of culture spots there. There is the Gallery of Photography, which hosts exhibitions of local and foreign photographers, as well as the Icon Walk, which presents some colourful pieces of art.
Chester Beatty Library
If you are into reading books, there is no better place in Dublin than the Chester Beatty Library to fulfil your hobby. Filled with the extensive collection of Alfred Chester Beatty, who was a rich bibliophile, the library holds ancient scrolls, books, and other literary pieces, situated across two floors of tall bookcases.
Being Europe's largest inner-city park, a stroll along the Phoenix Park can easily take you a whole day. There are plentiful of flat, green areas for a picnic, dirty roads surrounded by woods for a tranquil stroll, and other attractions, including a large population of deer which like to walk around the park.
Áras an Uachtaráin
While visiting the Phoenix Park, make sure to take a tour of the president’s house. Every Saturday a free walking tour departs from the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, taking you into the house to show you just how a president lives. Make sure to come early, as the tour operates on a first-come-first-served basis.